2006 is almost at an end and like every year, there is a sense of restlessness and anticipation. This year is over but there are lots of plans for 2007 and I am almost impatient to get there and get going. On the blueprint are new places to go to, new people to meet and a lot more to do. Everything has been allotted for, even my 'vacation' with the wife and 4 pets. But then, life's what happens when you are making other plans, so who knows what it will be like same time next year?
What I am really looking forward to is having a revamped website up and running sometime next week. In a sense, it's a synopsis of what 2006 was like. The images bring back the places I took people to. A misty sunrise at Chandertal with CB 13 peeking out of the clouds, a lama placing an offering bowl to dry in the sun at Thiksey, a bright red truck making its way over Khardungla to Siachen, the brilliant blue sky reflecting in the half-ice of Brighu, grey snow and grey water of Mantalai or the snow-covered Roopkund - the places and the people associated with them will come back everytime I look at the snaps.
The changes to the programs and the additional sections are also the result of what we learnt in 2006 - the questions that frequently people ask or winter skiing programs because unlike the popular misconception many people do take their big vacations in winters. Some treks have become shorter - Malana for instance - because civilisation trademarks like roads have reached further, some have become longer - Malana to Bijli Mahadev is one - because we discovered a pristine route that is far better than the popular one. While some - like Chandertal - are ones that we have been going to for years but love it enough to keep going back and introducing more people to the still blue waters.
But time now to get cracking on the last minute changes before uploading the site. And then I'll be off to Rajaji National Park where my wife's sister is doing her project. Staying in a forest rest house with lots of wildlife around should be a good way to bring in the new year...